Job Choices - February 2013 - (Page 7)
Starting a Successful Job Search
by Katharine S. Brooks t doesn’t matter how or where you start—just start from where you are. The job search: You’ve probably been thinking about it off and on for a while. And whether you’re just starting college or graduating in a few months, you can take steps now that will boost your chances of finding a job even in a challenging economy. Sometimes the hardest part of a job search is just getting started. If you don’t have a pressing deadline related to the search, it’s easy to put it off for one more day while you focus on more immediate issues.
continued on page 9
“I don’t have a goal—I don’t know what I want to do.”
Most job-finding strategies start with “set a goal.” That can be a challenge when you don’t have a specific career goal. Or, maybe you have several goals and don’t know where to start. Don’t let your lack of a goal hold you back. Just think about what you might like to do and move one step closer to that—if you change your mind, you can always change your search. What sounds interesting to you right now? What experiment could you craft to learn more about it?
“My major isn’t related to any career—or I don’t want the career that my major has prepared me for.”
“I went online to look for a job and there’s just too much out there—I’m totally overwhelmed.”
“I don’t have time for a job search right now.”
Your major doesn’t have to relate directly to your career. Focus on what you have learned, what skills you have developed, and what knowledge you have gained that might be transferable to the job you’d like to do. Learn to articulate the value of your major to an employer.
You don’t have to read every website, every blog, and every list of “20 typical interview questions” that you find on the Internet. Focus on key resources and keep it simple. This magazine is a great start. If you read the articles in here, you will learn most of what you need to know in the job search.
College is filled with distractions, but studies show that the earlier you start your search the greater the likelihood you will have a job at graduation—and earn more money in your first job than if you had waited. But searching for a job is roughly equivalent to taking an additional class—and who has time for that? That’s why you need to break the search down into small activities you can do in a short amount of time. You probably don’t have all day to devote to everything about the job search, so think about what you could do in 30 minutes or less. Reading this article is a great first step—and will only take you a few minutes. What can you do next?
“The job search is too scary—and there are no jobs out there anyway.”
The job market has been tough in recent years, and we all tend to avoid things that are uncomfortable or challenging. You have two options: Admit defeat—and do nothing; or move forward as best as you can and see what happens. The job market is tight, but jobs do exist. Try not to be unduly influenced by the media and generic job-market statistics that may not apply to your geographic area or your career field. You should also recognize that the entry-level market is different from the mid-career market, so try not to let general reports about employment scare you off. Some companies are hiring. Finally, remember that your first job is just the start of your career, so don’t get hung up on finding the “perfect” job.
Job Choices | National Association of Colleges and Employers
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Job Choices - February 2013
Job Choices - February 2013
Opportunities by Employer/Website Index
Starting Your Job Search
Playing Fair: Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Job Seeker
8 Steps to Job-Search Success
What Employers Want
Social Media in Your Job Search
Stoke Interest With Pinterest
Building Relevant Work Experience
Tips for Maximizing Your Internship Experience
The Art of Writing Job-Search Letters
Principles for Letter Writing
Build the Resume Employers Want
The Veteran’s Guide to Developing a Resume
Questions to Ask Your Interviewer
Dress for Interview Success
Interview Types and Tips
Tips for Becoming a Video Interview Star
Uncle Sam Wants You: Federal Jobs and Internships For Students and Recent Graduates
Your First Year on the Job
Grad School: To Go or Not to Go?
Grad School: Application Timeline
Grad School: Getting In
Opportunities by Occupation
Job Choices - February 2013